What must we know about plastic?

On 20170129, I was disappointed to notice that the newly purchased breastshields for the breast pump have discolored [1]. While pumping mother’s milk for Little Princess, the pump (and its essential accessories) and the milk are analogous to the goose and golden eggs. They are precious!

I also realized that while living in the desert, the water that we drink daily is bottled using plastic water bottles. I felt sorry for contributing to the environmental waste but I must drink water to sustain living. Dear universe, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.


On 20161025, Little Prince’s maternal grandmother discovered 4 previously used Philips Avent breastmilk cups stored together with gift items, but they had the smell of mothballs, that may contain carcinogenic naphthalene (a fused pair of benzene rings), even after rinsing with soapy water. Thus, I decided not to use the cups for storing frozen breastmilk.

It appears that sealed plastic absorbs odor easily.

On 20170208, to remove odor from plastic material, I used shower gel to wash an Intex inflatable (for Little Princess to sleep and play with in a hotel room) and let it dry using the fan of bathroom. I also allowed it to dry naturally by opening the room window.

To remove odor in plastic containers, besides washing and soaking with soap, we can absorb the odor with salt, crumpled newspapers, coffee grounds, or charcoal.

In a nutshell, it’s better to invest in new containers when our plastic food containers have turned smelly. To be environmentally-friendly, we can recycle our plastic food containers for storing other non-edible items.

While we prefer to live frugally and practice a minimalist lifestyle, we must not reuse the plastic bottles (PIC #1) that water and soda come in, because they are usually made from a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), which degrades following exposures to heat, sunlight, or prolonged use.

Here are checklist to stay safe / minimize hazards while using plastic containers:

  1. Substitute our plastic containers with reusable stainless steel, glass, or ceramic containers. Avoid aluminum too.
  2. When plastic containers cracks, scuffs, scratches, becomes cloudy or discolored, let’s recycle them.
  3. Avoid plastic with PIC #3, #6, and #7 because they are more likely to release harmful chemicals.
  4. Do not use hot water [3], harsh detergents, or bleach to wash plastic containers.
  5. Do not use plastic containers in a microwave oven.
  6. Use bisphenol A (BPA)-free bottles for babies.
  7. To store food items, do not use a plastic container that has been used to store detergents, chemicals, or non-food items, even just for once.
  8. Filtered tap water is probably safer [2] than water from water dispensers that is generally stored in large polycarbonate containers.


[1] grep “20170129_164503.jpg lesson” re2017*/*txt

[2] unfortunately not the case in the country where I worked as of 20170129

[3] After Little Princess reached her 6 months milestone, I decided not to sterilize the box where I put the breast shields attached to bottles with hot water, because BPA and plastic toxins releases 55x faster at high temperature. I accept the risk of pathogenic infections more than the risk of long-term carcinogens.


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